Chef Terrance Brennan
Chef Terrance Brennan
The son of Annandale, Virginia restaurateurs, Terrance Brennan has risen steadily to become one of America’s most regarded and renowned chefs and restaurateurs.
Chef Brennan started cooking as a teenager, working in his father’s small restaurant in the suburbs of Washington DC. From there he made his way to famed NYC restaurant Le Cirque. “It was very intense, it was like Haute Cuisine Boot Camp,” he explains, “and the experience was immeasurable.” He went on to hone his talents and skills in many of Europe’s finest Michelin starred restaurants. “My training in Europe was a self-imposed apprenticeship,” he says, “which I really consider as my finishing school.” A defining moment for Chef Brennan came while working under Chef Roger Vergé at Le Moulin de Mougins in the south of France, where he was inspired by the region’s “cuisine of the sun.”
Chef Brennan took his craft back to the states, specializing in Mediterranean-inspired American cuisine. In 1993, he opened his first restaurant, Picholine, which he named after the petite green olives indigenous to the Mediterranean. The restaurant quickly became a premier dining destination, earning three stars from The New York Times, four stars from New York Magazine, as well as two stars in the Michelin Guide. Such recognition catapulted Terrance’s career and in 1995 he was awarded Best New Chef in Food & Wine Magazine.
Chef Brennan’s strong passion for artisanal cheeses prompted him to use Picholine as a launching pad for the presentation of the traditional European cheese course. Chef Brennan extended his groundbreaking cheese service in 2001 with Artisanal, a bistro-fromagerie-wine bar that gained immediate prominence as a shrine to the pleasures of fine cheeses. Chef Brennan then paid the ultimate “homage to the fromage” in the spring of 2003 when he launched the Artisanal Premium Cheese Center – a 10,000 square-foot facility dedicated to the selection, maturation and distribution of the world’s finest artisanal cheeses.
Like many New York City chefs, Chef Brennan has always sourced high quality food from the Hudson Valley for his restaurants. However, it wasn’t until after his relocation to the area that he began to fully understand the thriving food culture in the Hudson Valley. After exploring the local farms and learning about farm management practices, Chef Brennan grew a greater appreciation for the commitment to sustainable farming. In addition to the ethical and environmental reasons for supporting sustainable farming, these practices produce a superior soil and in turn healthier and tastier products – always a top priority in the kitchen. Chef Brennan decided to not just be an active player, but rather a true supporter of the local and sustainable food system in his new restaurant at The Roundhouse.
The addition of Chef Brennan and the new approach to the restaurant is in keeping with The Roundhouse as a community focused and community inspired property. Overgrown and boarded up for years, a Beacon family purchased the property and used local businesses, artisans, and craftsmen to restore the property. The whole farm approach in the restaurant will further cement the Roundhouse’s commitment to helping grow and support the local economy.